FEATURE13 November 2017

Gender bias under the microscope

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Behavioural economics Features Impact UK

A study into unconscious gender bias has found bias can be at play in unexpected areas. Paul Barrow from Blinc shares the insight

Gender bias baby

I want to start with some interesting facts about the height of CEOs in America: the average American male is 5ft 9in; in the US population as a whole, about 14.5% of all men are six foot or over; yet among the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies it turns out that 58% are six foot or taller.

We haven’t even got to the gender bias element yet but I am sure you will agree that it seems unlikely that when the post of CEO becomes vacant in a large corporation a message is put out suggesting only tall men need apply. Indeed, it seems relatively unlikely that those choosing the next CEO would consider height a relevant factor in the final choice at all.

However, there is clearly an unconscious bias or unconscious prejudice at play that leads those choosing CEOs to prefer tall candidates. The recent ...